Moderna CEO sells 10,000 shares of company stock worth $1.8 million

Last week, the CEO of US pharmaceutical giant Moderna, Stéphane Bancel sold 10,000 shares of the company stock, worth $1.8 million.

The French billionaire still owns more than 21.8 million shares of Moderna stock, which is worth $3.5bn, meaning he remains the largest insider shareholder at the company.

Bancel has reportedly been selling off shares of the company’s stock since late 2019, but he aroused suspicion of insider trading in his latest move by cancelling his Twitter account without prior warning.

However, Bancel has previously announced plans to sell stock over time, and according to the SEC filing reporting the sale notes, the transactions were made in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, a regulation that allows company insiders to sell shares at predetermined times.

This sale was also part of Bancel’s plans to sell company stock, which date back to December 2018.

But this is not the first time that Moderna has aroused suspicion for insider trading. Between January and August of 2020, the company came under scrutiny after Bancel sold $38 million worth of stock in the midst of positive announcements about the company’s development of a Covid-19 vaccine and ongoing vaccine trials.

On previous occasions, Bancel and others from the company have also amended their 10b5-1 plans just before selling shares of Moderna stock.

Since the pandemic, Moderna’s market value has risen from around $6.5 billion pre-pandemic to a peak of $195 billion in August 2021, although it now currently sits at $65 billion.

Bancel is not the only Moderna executive to have recently cashed in on the company’s stock: Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer, Juan Andres and Chief Financial Officer, David Meline also reportedly made sales that were done automatically to cover the taxes on stock that was given as pay.